The measures are a revised version of alert level 2 to respond to the new omicron variant and are designed to help keep businesses open and trading and protect customers and staff.
The regulations bring back protections in hospitality businesses, including licensed premises, and in cinemas and theatres when they re-open after the festive period.
Strengthened guidance will be issued to help people stay safe in their own homes and when meeting others.
£120 million will be available for nightclubs, retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses affected by the move to alert level 2 – double the new £60 million package announced last week.
The Economy Minister will announce further details tomorrow (23 December).
From Boxing Day, the alert level two measures will mean:
- A general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.
- The rule of 6 will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.
- All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.
- Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.
- Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors.
- There will be an exception for team sports, up to 50 spectators will be able to gather, in addition to those taking part. There is also an exception for events involving children.